No, we don't agree with AT&T's decision to not allow unsigned apps on the Backflip and, according to Phone News, the Dell Aero, which isn't even out yet. We'd much prefer the carriers follow in Android's spirit of openness. But you know what? It's AT&T's decision not to.
So before you start an online petition, before you even think -- let alone type -- the word class-action lawsuit, and before you hop on Twitter to rail against The Man, answer these questions: Were you being forced to buy either of these phones? Sure, they're the only Android fare AT&T has to offer, and that sucks. But neither of these phones is crippled. (At least not the Backflip -- we haven't seen the Dell actually turned on yet.) They do e-mail. They have a Web browser. They purchase, download and install apps from the Android Market just fine -- just like every other Android phone.
What they don't do is run apps outside of the Market. That's AT&T's decision, and that's just not that big a deal for the vast population of Android users. So think about this before you declare it DOA, especially before you even get a chance to use it.
The picture above was taken the day the Nexus One launched. In focus, the glorious Nexus One. In the background, HTC CEO Peter Chou proudly standing behind it. And at the time, the Nexus One was the best Android phone available (heck, it still might be). He had the right to be proud. But how does he feel now? Is he still happy with the Nexus One? After all the customer mishaps and relatively disappointing sales numbers, can the CEO of HTC still proudly hold the Nexus One?
Chou says that the Nexus One is a success because Google's goal with the Nexus One was to "show how good Android can be" and "in that regard, [he] thinks it has been an achievement." We agree, the Nexus One (along with the Droid) brought Android into a different light and re-introduced Android as a true contender in the smartphone space. And though sales haven't been stellar, Chou echoes our statement, that "considering Google didn't do [standard] retail or marketing for it, the Nexus One is doing pretty well."
Sure, we can take this as typical CEO-speak but there's something to be said when a company is focused on building the best phone possible as opposed to marketing a phone to become the most popular; that success for them can be measured in something other than sales figures. It's no accident that the Evos, the Desires, the Legends, of the Android world are all made by HTC--they focus on building great devices. So say what you want about the Nexus One, success or not, we're just glad HTC is in Android's corner.
Sure, you might have used the Swype keyboard for Android or Windows Mobile smartphones. But have you really used Swype? We sat down with Mike and Aaron for a few minutes and had them put the popular -- and innovative -- keyboard through its paces, including how it could be used on your television. Check it out after the break.
We took you on a quick tour of the Samsung Galaxy S hardware -- now let's spend a few more minutes and look at the software. When Samsung talks about "Smart Life," they mean it, bringing a new look and feel to Android. Video after the break.
OK, OK. We got it. You guys still have plenty of (very good!) questions regarding the Sprint Evo 4G. So let's make things easier on everybody and get them all in one place. What else do you want to know about the Evo 4G? Post your Q's in this forum thread, and we'll get you some A's. Promise.
If you have any Backflip or iPhone-toting friends like we do, you'd know that AT&T isn't exactly the model for network reliability. There's drop calls, weak signals, full signal but slow data, etc. Most people just suffer through AT&T's problems but hey, you don't have to any more--the AT&T 3G MicroCell will solve all your problems.
Basically, the AT&T 3G MicroCell acts as a mini cell tower in your home, giving you full signal for both data and voice connections. You just plug your home internet connection into the MicroCell and voila, you'll get awesome coverage in your home. The MicroCell costs $150 which is kind of okay but kind of not. It's decently priced because it's a one time fee, no need to pay a monthly fee (unless you spring for the $20/month for unlimited calling) but kind of ridiculous because AT&T is using your internet connection to solve their problem.
Either way, if you have terrible AT&T 3G service at home or office, the AT&T 3G MicroCell is your answer. Pony up $150 and you'll get to enjoy voice and data coverage like you should.
The good news is that those of you who have to have Nextel's push-to-talk service and have been dying for an Android phone can now have it in the Motorola i1. Otherwise, there's not a whole lot to get excited about here.
It's a pretty basic candybar-style phone, running Android 1.5. It feels just fine in the had, through the software runs a little slow (that could just be a demo thing) and feels a little underpowered. But, again, it's the first iDEN Android phone (or the "World's only," depending on who you ask), and that's no small thing. But unless you absolutely have to have push-to-talk, you'll likely be looking elsewhere.
We must say, there's something kind of cool -- and, yes, very nerdy -- about holding this much memory on your fingertip. But there it is, the recently announced 32GB microSD card from Sandisk. Interesting story: It's manufactured by taking a wafer of 4GBs of memory, shaving it down -- it's made thicker than necessary, otherwise it'd be too flimsy initially -- and then stacking them eight high to get to the 32GB. MSRP is $200 for now, but that will drop in time.
It was a long and hard first day at CTIA, with the announcement of a couple of stellar Android phone, and the return of Dell to the U.S. smartphone area. That brings us to the Dell Aero, which was announced for AT&T. And we got our hands on it tonight ... And that's it. It might or might not be a working device. We don't know, because Dell wouldn't turn it on, for whatever reason.
So, we got an OK feel for the hardware. And in what seems to be a growing trend, it's pretty darn light. Actually, save for feeling a bit plastic, it was a pretty sexy phone. Nice and slim, with graceful lines that fit nicely in your hand. And so after the break, a few more pics of the Dell Areo purely as a work of industrial design. Here's to hoping we actually see it in action at some point.
We've had our mitts on the EVO 4G for just the briefest of minutes (but have more time soon) and so far our verdict on this pre-production model is that it's a winner. It is quite large - those of you who have seen the HD2 have a good point of reference. It's a little thicker than an HD2 as well, but the back has such a soft, supple feel to it that it's hard to complain. The screen looks crisp and expansive and while 4G has been a little hit-or-miss on our Overdrive, we're betting that when this rolls around this summer (price unknown), you're going to feel like Sprint is right: it's radically different to use a phone with these speeds.
Specs are mighty mighty impressive: EVDO RevA/ WiMAX, 4.3" screen, 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, 8mp camera on the back, 1.3mp camera on the front, Shoots HD video, streams HD Video via an HDMI-out port, 1500mAh battery, digital compass, 3.5mm headset jack, HTC's excellent Sense UI, Visual Voicemail, and on and on.
HTC dropped the trackball / trackpad, opting instead to give you 4 directional buttons on the keyboard for when you need to make fine-grained text selection.
We have more (and better) photos and video on the way. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, a few shots from the press event are after the break.
Here it is, friends, the moment you've all been waiting for: a true 4G phone. It's the HTC EVO 4G. You're looking at an 8 Ghz Snapdragon processor, an 8 megapixel camera, a HD Video capture, HDMI video out, and a 4.3" screen ...and even a little kickstand on the back. Availability this summer - more as we get it, we're here live now! Follow us on twitter for updates.
Update: also acts as a Mobile WiFi Hotspot, yo! More specs: there is also a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera. Two new apps on board: Qik video streaming is there and a new app called YouTube HQ which streams higher quality YouTube videos when you are on WiFi or 4G
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